Sunday, March 18, 2007



Yesterday we had a provocative session at Firedoglake, the object of which was to pick five Democratic incumbents who have been keeping their campaign promises and doing a great job. One of the winners was Louisville freshman John Yarmuth and almost everyone who was pushing him mentioned the work he's put in on cleaning up the disgraceful mess our wounded vets have been subjected to in the military medical system. And Yarmuth isn't the only Democrat in Congress working to fix the mess perpetrated by the Bush Regime and congressional rubber stamp accomplices like John McHugh (R-NY), Steve Buyer (R-IN), C.W. Bill Young (R-FL) and Phil Gingrey (R-GA). Nor, in fact, are congressional Democrats the only ones leading the charge for our wounded vets.

Several Democrats who are running for Congress next year, especially military vets themselves like Eric Massa (NY) and Charlie Brown (CA), are boiling with rage at the way these men and women have been treated. The palpable anger one feels from outside the Beltway on this is a lot stronger than from insiders. Charlie Brown, one of the most beloved of all our Blue America candidates last year-- and the first candidate we added to our list this year-- first challenged the Regime and its corrupt, rubber stamp rep in his home district (Doolittle) because of "the abject failure of Washington politicians to competently address America’s security needs and keep faith with to those who serve in our armed forces."

Like Massa and several other of the 70 vets who ran for Congress in 2006, Charlie is readying another challenge to The Machine. "In the wake of the Walter Reed scandal, it is the continuing pattern of neglect that leads me to believe that many of us will be back in 2008.
As I noted in my recent Op-Ed, the problem is much bigger than conditions at Walter Reed. This government’s failure to plan for wartime contingencies and post-war obligations to veterans has been systemic. The chronic under-funding of the VA Healthcare system, over-extending and under- equipping of our active duty troops, and the growing epidemic of PTSD, homelessness, suicide, substance abuse, and divorce among veterans past and present are just a few of the symptoms. While these challenges can’t be solved by empty slogans like “support the troops,” they can be solved by our sustained commitment to change.

From now until the end of March Charlie is contributing 10% of all campaign cotributions to local (CA-04) outreach programs that help homeless veterans (1 in 3 homeless men in America is a veteran), and other veterans in need get back on their feet.

Please donate directly to Charlie Brown's campaign here through Blue America. I might also add that Rep. Patrick Murphy (D-PA), the first Iraq War vet to be elected to Congress, and Rep. Steve Cohen (D-TN), the only other incumbents we've added to our list for 2008, are also total hawks on making sure "support our troops" means supporting the men and women in uniform or formerly in uniform and not the foul Regime that mis-uses and abuses them.

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